June 23, 2005


New York, NY, June 22, 2005: Seven music greats were added to the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame today at a reception hosted by ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman at the organization’s New York City offices. The event was highlighted by the induction of three ASCAP Jazz Living Legends: composer/arranger Neal Hefti, vocalist/pianist Shirley Horn, and guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli. The latest group of inductees also includes four posthumous honorees: trumpeter Thad Jones, trombonist Jack Teagarden, violinist Joe Venuti and pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams. Participating in the event as presenters and performers were Dr. Billy Taylor, James McBride, Rufus Reid, Hilton Ruiz and John Pizzarelli.

In addition, emergent and critically-acclaimed pianist/composer Matthew Shipp was presented with the newly-established ASCAP Foundation Jazz Vanguard Award.

The event featured Bucky and John Pizzarelli performing a swinging guitar duet; pianist Hilton Ruiz playing a tribute to his friend and mentor, Mary Lou Williams; Matthew Shipp performing a powerful and radical interpretation of the standard, “Angel Eyes,” and Young Jazz Composer Award recipient Manuel Valwera and his trio showcasing an original work. The reception also celebrated the third annual Young Jazz Composer Awards of The ASCAP Foundation. The program was established in 2002 to encourage the jazz creators of the future. The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards recognize composers under 30 years of age whose works are selected through a national competition. The judges for the competition were ASCAP members John Fedchock, Phil Markowitz and Rufus Reid. A list of the award recipients is attached, along with their ages and the titles of their award-winning works.

Commenting on the Jazz Wall of Fame, Marilyn Bergman said, “Jazz is truly the music of America, and like the movies, one of our greatest home-grown art forms. The sheer diversity and magnitude of the individuals we honor this year ­ among them are composers, instrumentalists and vocalists, each one an innovator ­ speaks to the richness of this living and endlessly evolving musical genre. ASCAP is pleased to add all of these legends to our Jazz Wall of Fame. And it is most appropriate to couple this salute to jazz greats of the past with a celebration of the jazz of the future via the talented recipients of The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards.”